Monday, October 3, 2011

Open Letter: Crystal Young

May Good-Old Nebraska Common Sense Prevail!

by: Crystal Young

If education has changed, so has politics. Governor Heineman is a skilled politician who picked Senator Ashford, the most powerful Senator in Lincoln to get the job done and get truancy legislation passed. What both of them failed to notice in the interim between LB800 and 463 was the change in the national political current.

What was once the undercurrent of conservative thought has become the watch cry of the majority. We are tired of government spending more money than we have, we are tired of government dictating what we eat, drink, and to whom we will go for medical care, we are tired of government intervention to rescue us from ourselves.

If by chance you think I am blowing this out of perspective, why then did district 22 in NY vote to overturn a seat that has remained stable through the Great Depression, WWII, Vietnam, Korea, and Civil Rights? Now is the time we will decide as a country how much we value freedom. Now is the time we will decide the proper role of government.

Senator Ashford skillfully built a political coalition to testify in favor of LB 463. In a “politics as usual” game plan, nearly all of them will reap a monetary benefit from the passage of this legislation from Bright Futures to the District Attorney’s office.

One of the most endearing is Lutheran Family Services whose preschool enrolment will be bolstered as the State identifies families “at risk” and “recommends” that those children be placed in early intervention away from home and mothers.

The only people at the hearing to oppose LB 463 were five mothers. Now, perhaps I need to share a little wisdom from the ranch. Many Nebraskans and especially Senator Ashford and Hieneman obviously don’t know the value of mothers.

My Dad, a rancher, occasionally had a calf that lost its mother. Getting that calf to grow without its mother was a great challenge. The best hope was to find another mother who had lost her calf, skin the dead calf and put the hide on the orphaned calf. Hopefully the surrogate mother would adopt the calf, let him feed and he could be nourished until old enough to eat on his own. It was a risky chance but the best one for the calf. Nothing could replace the nurturing of a Mom – not a bottle in the barn, not a human with a schedule.

This seems like an obvious call but the worst thing we can do as a society is separate mothers and children. No matter what is politically expedient, families need to be protected.

I hold out hope that Senator Ashford will recognizes and value good mothering. He could not look me in the eye for my entire testimony against LB 463. He did look me in the eye in the hall and with great tenderness reassure me “This [law] is not for families like yours.”

Singling out some families over others, sorting through people based on what some state official feels is responsible parenting, is not good for anyone. If it’s not a good law for me it is definitely not a good law for the half a dozen families now embroiled in the court system after only one year since LB 800 went into effect.

I call on Senator Ashford and Governor Heineman to use all their combined political savvy and repeal or at least amend this legislation. I pray that common sense will prevail and that they will choose to use their talents and political power to protect the basic freedoms of all Nebraska families.

Crystal Young
Gretna Public Schools
Gretna Nebraska

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